December 26th, 2007
03:25 PM ET
9 years ago

Clinton closes gap with Bush as nation's 'Most Admired Man'

Clinton and Bush are statistically tied as the nation's most admired man.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Looks like all of Bill Clinton's time on the campaign trail this year for his wife Hillary may be paying off in the polls for more than one member of the family.

Sitting presidents usually top Gallup's list of the country's most admired man, and this year is no exception: President Bush leads, as the choice of 10 percent of those polled. But in this survey, he's in a statistical tie with former President Bill Clinton, at 8 percent. In the last survey, there was an 8-point margin of separation, with Bush leading 13 to 5 percent, and a 17-point difference in a 2004 poll. (Full poll results [PDF])

Former Vice President Al Gore, who won several high-profile awards in 2007 for his work to raise awareness about climate change, also shot up in the poll - now in third place with 6 percent - 5 percentage points higher than last year.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama nudges out the Rev. Billy Graham and Nelson Mandela for fourth place with 5 percent. Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, and Rudy Giuliani also make the list - all at 1 percent.

Hillary Clinton tops Gallup's most admired woman list, with 18 percent. But popular talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who has campaigned for Obama, Clinton's chief rival, is statistically tied with the New York Democrat at 16 percent. Both have gained in this year's poll: Clinton was at 13 percent in 2006 while Winfrey was at 9 percent.

The poll surveyed 1,011 Americans December 14-16, and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. Bernadine Heller

    Regarding the latest poll declaring George Bush the nation's 'Most Admired': are you certain voters weren't thinking of Sophia Bush, George HW Bush, Reggie Bush, or Bush Philips? Surely they can't have voted knowingly for the current occupant of the White House!

    December 26, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Clayton St.louis, Missouri

    Cnn, how about replacing this crap with a story that's actually relevant?

    December 26, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Maureen Stockwell, Bantam, CT

    George W Bush running for most admired man – how sad – unimaginable – Totally sick – Please tell us this is one huge joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 26, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. Trent Porttland, OR

    George W. Bush being the most admired man in America is laughable. Surely nobody really believes this that has one remaining brain cell.

    What a complete waste of a President who has caused irreparable damage to our country.

    This, coming from a die hard Republican.

    December 26, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. Fed Up with Conservative Politics in the USA

    Bush?!?! One of most admired men?

    Goes to show you that Republicans care more about Republicans than the United States of America!

    December 26, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. anon independant voter

    How could anyone possibly admire Bill Clinton? The man is a lying, cheating, adulterer that used the most powerful position in the world as a dating platform. Good Lord, it was like an 8 year frat party in the white house. The man has no integrity whatsoever, he's a liar, a cheat, and a thief. He was and is an embarrassment to our country, not a person to be admired.

    December 26, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Patrick, Bethlehem,PA

    What do we expect from a country that still has people who believe that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had something to do with 911.

    December 26, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  8. jesargent Jacksonville, FL

    Admire Bush? Get serious. I have never had less respect for any president's abilities or the way he has projected the U.S. to the world. He has made Americans look like idiots and squandered any goodwill this country ever had. The 2008 elections can't get here soon enough.

    December 26, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Dave SB Indiana

    regarding a previous poster... and I hate bush... but also Hillary Clinton ranking so high? I don't admire her either.

    so, either people just picked the first person that they thought of or this poll is not legitamite.

    Maybe we would be so shocked that Bush was listed so high that we would be okay with Hillary being so high as well.

    Throw the poll out!

    December 26, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. Ivan

    If you want to know who those morons are who picked GWB as most the most admired just look for the Bush/Chenney bumper stickers. They really only admire him for sharing their twisted death cult mentality... or at least saying that he does.

    December 26, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. Craig, Frisco, TX

    Bush will probably lead in "Most Despised" as well.

    December 26, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. Michael, Ft Worth TX

    I think the titles are mixed up. President Clinton is the "Most Admired". George Bush should have been named as the "Most Admonished/Adversarial/Avoided".

    December 26, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. Robert

    Let's see who do I admire more, they guy who disgraced our country be having a sex scandal in the Oval Office, or the guy who completely disgraced our country because he started a dumb war on false pretenses. I'm gonna go with nether. As it turns out my dog has more integrity then these two men combined. Again CNN thanks for the meaningless story. I can't believe I still get news from you. There is better journalism found on the Perez Hilton website.

    December 26, 2007 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. Lynda, Delafield, Wisconsin

    The sitting president has been cited as the most admired man since 1981, so this is no big coup for Bush. I'm more concerned that 8% of the nation thought Bill Clinton is admirable.

    December 26, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. JorgeM

    Walt from Belton, TX writes "How can you compare a man with no morals, Clinton, with a man of extremely high morals, Bush?"

    Well, Walt, I guess what you say is true if your idea of morality begins and ends at the person's crotch. Fortunately, most of us can look at the big picture and come to a different conclusion. Clinton was no saint, but next to the Butcher of Iraq, he looks like a choir boy.

    December 26, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. Misleading Poll, USA

    This is truely a waste of space. What about the other 90% that either can't stand these two "most admired", or prefer someone else you didn't give them the option of listing. This poll is only registering the extremes.

    December 26, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. American citizen

    How SAD is that.

    December 26, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. Angel, Los Angeles of Anaheim

    Does anyone think that the Bush conglomeration will allow their power to be usurped? BS. They will find a way to control the country just as they have for the last 30 years.
    They need to be stopped.
    Obamama '08

    December 26, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. West Bend, WI

    They should rename the piece "10% Of All Americans are Retarded". How could anyone with more than a double digit I.Q. stand, let alone ADMIRE this one-trick-pony moron of a president? Admire him for what... unilaterally starting a pointless war of aggression that's cost us over $500 billion and counting while it's really done nothing to protect us from terrorism? Killing almost 4000 of our troops so far and tens of thousands of civilians? Destablizing Iraq and inviting Iran to fill the vacuum? Incurring record deficits? Tarnishing the prestige of this nation around the world? Vetoing stem cell research and Iraqi withdrawal? Rewriting the Geneva Convention to condone the U.S. torture of prisoners (In the name of democracy, ofcouse)? Ignoring global warming for years because it would inconvenience his capitalist big business cronies? etc, etc...

    By this standard Hilter and Stalin should be the most admired men of all time!

    Americans have to be among the stupidest, most gullible people in the world to elect this idiot once, let alone TWICE!

    December 26, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Nobody asked me?

    I don't believe either is respectable enough to be admired. One is a cheating philanderer, who did a pretty good job in his office, but disgraced himself due to lust. The second is a spoiled rich kid–who was born again and somehow became President, in spite of the fact he is inarticulate, uncharismatic, and a foreign/economic policy blunderer. His legacy as Presidential role model will be the example to avoid.

    December 26, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. Dee White

    Only a moron could admire Bush

    December 26, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. Andy, Evansville, IN

    anon independant voter:

    You're right! Just chalk it up to the stupid American electorate. We all know Clinton's legacy, we knew Marion Berry's as well when he was re-elected. Bush's? Well, some folks think they have his all figured out. Truth is, his won't be entirely figured out for years to come. Case in point...Harry Truman. Harry's poll numbers were equally dismal approaching the end of his Administration. The reason?...the Korean War. We all know the success that South Korea has Harry is considered a pretty good President. Amazing. Imagine now, if Iraq becomes another democratic Islamic nation down the road, well, like Turkey. Think Bush will still be called a "war criminal", "a draft dodger", "an idiot", then? Not likely. If Iraq fails, and no one knows for sure it will, Bush has a problem. As for Clinton, well he WILL fade into mediocrity, and he knows it.

    December 26, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Jay Monson

    If I ever had reason to not trust a Gallup poll before, I do now. Most admired – now that's a joke. In the case of Mr. Bush, are you sure the poll wasn't asking for the most despised?

    December 26, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. scott, manchester NH

    what a totalling sickening and outrageous thought: Bush as most admired anything...except a moron!

    December 26, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. Conservative Kearney Ne.

    Is that Hillary they are talking about for most admired "men'?

    December 26, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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